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“Doppelganger” – pt 11 of 18

After the nearly botched break-in at Stane International, Fury calls in agents Hawkeye, Mockingbird, the Black Widow and Grifter. A mystery caller interrupts the meeting.

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Cash probably would have stayed in bed longer if the sun hadn’t hit him right in the face. He’d remembered to take off his bandana last night, but not too close the blinds.

Cash pulled the covers back over his head, but it was too late. He was awake now. Might as well get the day started.

Throwing away the sheets, Cash slid out of bed. He’d stripped down to his boxers. The brown pants, dark shirt, red gloves and matching bandana that made up his Grifter costume lay on the floor on a path to the bed. He didn’t remember being so tired last night.

Come to think of it; he didn’t remember much of last night.

A chime interrupted his attempt to recall the night before. He recognized it as the alert from his SHIELD-issue communicard.

About the size of a credit card, the communicard not only served as an agent’s ID card, but it also held the technology for a two-way transmitter with a direct line to SHIELD.

Cash wondered who’d be calling this early.

Crossing the cramped room, he picked up his Grifter pants. The communicard was in the pocket. It was the size of a credit card but a few millimeters thicker. Had to be to hold the tech that made it much more than a simple ID card.

Cash caught a glimpse of himself on the card. He never liked the picture, something akin to the crap one gets at the DMV.

Holding the card parallel to the ground, he pressed a corner of the card. A small hologram appeared; it was the head and shoulders of General Fury.

“Wakey wakey, sunshine,” Fury said. “You see the morning news yet?”

Cash shook his head but knew Fury didn’t call just to tell him about some celebrity on the morning news shows. He stepped out of the bedroom and into the small apartment’s living room, taking the communicard with him.

Digging through some dirty clothes on the sofa, Cash found the remote to the flatscreen television mounted on the wall. He clicked it on.

“Channel Two has some really good footage,” Fury’s hologram said.

Turning to channel two, Cash was met with a story about a second break-in at Stane International within twenty-four hours.

This time, the thieves got into a sub-basement server room. The suit the agents had encountered the day before came on, insisting the thieves didn’t steal anything that would harm Stane customers or shareholders.

He wouldn’t comment on anything else.

“Sucks to be them,” Cash said.

“No,” Fury barked. “Sucks to be you.”

Cash held up the communicard so he could look at Fury. The man’s expression was passive, but even through a hologram Cash could see the anger building behind his commander’s eye.

“It took some doing, but Stane’s people were smart enough not to comment on the identities of the thieves,” Fury said. “You wanna tell me why the hell you, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and the Widow went back to Stane International last night?”

Cash’s jaw dropped. He ran his fingers through his disheveled blonde hair.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Fury said.

A knock at the door. Cash looked in that direction.

“That’s your heavily armed escort, arrived to take you to the Triskelion,” Fury explained. “Please resist them, Cash. Save me the trouble of whipping your ass when you get here.”

Fury was intimidating enough on the briefing room’s flatscreen. He was even worse in person. He strode back and forth in the space in front of the flatscreen. A trail of smoke danced about his head as he burned off yet another cigar.

“Washington is always up my ass about you four,” Fury said mid-way through his tirade. “Always running around like a bunch of avengers or something, doing what you think is right.

“Regardless of consequences or info you don’t know. I blame Stark’s influence from the brief time he was here. Because I damn sure didn’t teach you agents that.”

Fury finally stopped and looked at the four agents, all in standard SHIELD uniforms and not their usual codenamed costumes. “And I damned sure didn’t train you to murder innocent civilians just trying to get their nut in the world. What the fuck went through your minds last night?”

Agent Morse and the others were silent, looking at each other the way first graders look at one another when their teacher busts them for not feeding the now dead class goldfish.

“That was not a rhetorical fucking question!” Fury said. “SHIELD now has to buy Stane’s shitty new stamina pill just to cover this shit up! Not to mention putting that guard’s great-grandchildren through the Ivy League! So, I’m gonna ask you again!”

Now Fury moved to Black Widow, getting in her face. She did her best to look away.

“What. The FUCK. Were. You. Thinking?” Fury demanded. He held his position for a moment, driving his words home.

A chime sounded, indicating a call over the room’s intercom. Maria Hill’s voice soon followed. “General Fury,” was all she got out before Fury cut her off.

“What part of ‘no interruptions’ was difficult for you to grasp, Agent Hill?” Fury asked.

“Sir,” Hill pressed on, “with all due respect —”

“I don’t need respect!” Fury glared at the agents in front of him. “I need my agents to follow my Goddamned orders!”

“Um, you never ordered us not to go back to Stane,” Agent Barton offered.

It earned him a glare from Fury that nearly set the agent on fire.

“General Fury,” Hill cut in. “There is a call on your private line you need to take. Now.”

“If the Hulk is trashing Manhattan again, call Stark, that Morales kid or Xavier in that order and —”

“Not as bad, sir, but even more relevant to the people in that room with you.”

This new classification made Fury pause.

“Transfer the call to this room,” he said.

Fury moved to the table and pressed a section at the table’s head near the flatscreen. It pressed down, then back up just high enough to reveal a sleek cordless phone. Fury picked it up. “This is Fury.”

He paused, listening to whoever was on the other end. To the surprise of the other agents, he gave a slight chuckle. “Well, that’s pretty damned funny because Agent Romanova is —”

Whoever was talking to Fury cut him off. The agents couldn’t hear the other side of the conversation, but they could see Fury’s amusement melt into concern. He looked to Agent Romanova, then the others, in turn, still listening on the phone. Fury then turned his back on the agents.

“You have my undivided attention,” Fury said, leaving the four agents to look to one another in confusion.

To be continued…

Copyright Info

DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. Now it’s Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition

Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.

Proteus Plot, Copyright 2006, Green Ronin Publishing, Author Steve Kenson.

The characters Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Mockingbird, the Black Widow, Arnim Zola, the Red Skull, HYDRA, SHIELD and Captain America are Copyright Marvel Comics

The character Grifter is Copyright DC Comics

None of the characters (or the plot, for that matter) belong to me as this is fan fiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise.

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